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Shinya Arimoto June 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Tibet.
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From the Series “Why Now Tibet”, 2009

Shinya Arimoto ( b. 1971, Japan) graduated from Osaka School of Visual Arts 1994. Since then Shinya has photographed in India, Nepal and Tibet where he spent more than 18 months. In 1998, he won the 35th Taiyo award for his photography book Portrait of Tibet. He opened the Totem Pole Gallery in Shinjuku, Tokyo in 2008. Shinya has published Portrait of Tibet (Visual Arts, 1999) and ariphoto selection vol. 1 (Totem Pole Gallery, 2010). His work has been published in Asahi Camera and Kaze no Tabibito, among others. Shinya also teaches at various photography schools including the Tokyo Visual Arts Center.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken in the Tibet Autonomous Region of  Sichuan Province. Outside the restaurant, this nomadic father and son in tribal robes were peeking at a Tibetan language TV show. The robe represents a sense of ethnic identity, especially strong during youth. Tibetans in this small town in the middle of vast grasslands have made their living trading with other nomads for many years. I revisited this town in the summer of 2009 for the first time in 10 years. Although Tibet is often called a hidden land, significant economic development in China during the past 10 years has brought changes to the lives of many. I saw few horses in the grasslands and instead watched many nomadic Tibetans speeding by on motorcycles. I saw people with cell phones walking through the renovated town, which showed no signs of my previous visit. However, there are traditions that the people have kept by fighting new trends. I wanted to witness what they had gained, what they lost, and to learn about my own changes over the past 10 years.”

Editors Note: Thanks to Kayo Lackey for translating the bio and interview with Shinya.